County graduation rates, weighted 2014-2020 in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Students who graduate from high school have higher wages, lower unemployment and are less likely to need public assistance than those who do not graduate. Their long-term physical and mental health is also better if they graduate from high school.

What the data shows
At the state level, 87.4% graduated in 2020. This is the same rate as 2019 and noteworthy, given that the pandemic struck in March 2020..Two counties achieved graduation rates above 90% in 2019:  Knox at, 91.3% and York at 90.8%. The lowest county graduation rates in 2020 were in: Androscoggin at 80.1%; Somerset at 84.0% and Oxford 85.0%.

Nationally, for the most recent year data was available, the graduation rate for 2017-2018 was 85%, so Maine has a higher rate than the national rate. The State is working toward a goal of having a 90 percent graduation rate.

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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number and percent of youth by county who graduate in 4 years from public schools and 60% publicly funded private schools. The numerator is the number of youth graduating in the state in 4 years and the denominator includes the cohort of ninth grade students 4 years prior plus all transfers in and all transfers out.

Data Source: Special data request to the Maine Department of Education for high school graduation aggregated by the county. 

Source for national comparisons
High School Grad Rates By State 2018

Footnotes: The year refers to the year of graduation, so 2020 is the 2019-2020 school year. In this series, the calculation is at the student level rather than the school level.  This makes it "weighted". For example, suppose a county had 3 schools, one with 300 ninth graders and two small schools with 20 ninth graders each. If 70% of the students graduated at the large school and 95% at the two other schools, the student average would be (300x70%)= 210 graduates plus 19 + 19 graduates, so the "weighted average would be 248/340 = 72.9% for the county.

The data for the series 2009 -2013 is unweighted. This means it averages all the individual school graduation rates in a county, rather than taking all the ninth graders in the county and how many of that cohort graduated 4 years later.  In the above example, the graduation rates of the three schools would be averaged (70% +95% +95%)/3 = 86.6%.  86.6% would be the unweighted average. 

Updated September 2021.